BT’s “6 Pack of Picks” Version 1.0

What lurks behind the curtain for Week # 1? 

Here we go again.

Buckle in for the inevitable roller-coaster of emotions. The all too rare easy covers,  the close but invigorating wins and too often, dreaded backdoor losses courtesy of an untimely fumble, missed FG or, and get ready for this: mind-blowing non-calls or a flurry of flags from overzealous scabs trying to make a mark.

What’s that you say, the “refs” did a great job Wednesday in New Jersey? Really? Well, that depends on your perspective. In some books, the over that night was 44.5. With 41 points combined in an impressive Dallas win, if your rode the over, you lost. However, if the refs threw the flag and called holding at the GL against Dallas and rightfully rewarded Victor Cruz, rather than settling for 3 points on that possession, the Giants probably punch it in for 7. 41 becomes 45 and yup, you guessed it: in many circles, the same bet produces a win rather than a loss, or at the very least for some, a push.

Just another calculation toward the pot of gold, but consider that my cautionary tale when putting scratch in the hands of 3rd grade teachers from Iowa. Tread lightly this weekend, gauge the field, establish trends. Trust me, these fellas will blow a few big ones.

Lucky for you, they won’t be able to mess up these games.

But as always, buckle in.

WEEK 1 (home team in CAPS)

1. Indianapolis Colts /CHICAGO BEARS (Over 43.5) Tough spot for Andrew Luck? Sure. But there are two very obvious things that will work to your advantage here: 1) the Bears are very talented and 2) so is Luck. Chicago should pull away and handle the majority of the heavy lifting in this one, but Luck’s eventual greatness shines thru just enough as the rook makes plays on the road to pop this puppy over the number.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (-9) over CLEVELAND BROWNS Pretty simple premise applied here: the Eagles are good, the Browns are terrible. Mix in the not-too-subtle pressure applied to Andy Reid’s job security and the fact that this entire roster felt the wrath all summer on the Philly airwaves, this group should be extremely motivated to play. Hopefully for Cleveland, Trent Richardson is the real deal, but either way, it won’t matter here. Not this week, and probably not this year.

Stare at this long enough, Dolphin fans should forget just how bad their team really is. Maybe.

3. HOUSTON TEXANS (-12) over Miami Dolphins I’m applying simple logic here and stacking the deck against a rookie QB (not named Luck) and a rookie head coach for a team with a dearth of offensive weapons. That team also happens to be on the road, against a conference heavyweight. Yeah, I’m expecting a blowout. Even if Miami’s D is stingy early on, and they are capable of doing just that, Houston eventually pulls away and pounds ’em, covering the big number with relative ease. 31-10 sounds about right.

4. Carolina Panthers (-2.5) over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS I saw firsthand how Greg Schiano transformed a lifeless, moribund Rutgers program into a regional power with national cache, so I know the man can coach. I also believe that Josh Freeman is a lot better than he showed last season. In his second NFL season, he tossed 25 TD’s against only 6 INT’s, so the cupboard is hardly bare. However, Cam Newton is scary good and Carolina is poised to be a player in the WC hunt. Don’t see the Panthers boarding their short flight back to Carolina saddled with a loss in Week 1, not against this opponent. The 2.5 points makes it even more enticing. Might want to jump on this early, as I expect it to jump north to 4, 4.5 by kick. Great value now, get it.

5. DETROIT LIONS (-7.5) over St. Louis Rams: Eventually, the Rams will be good. Great hire bringing in Jeff Fisher to help connect the dots. Problem is, there are a mountain of dots, dots that stretch all the way into the infirmary. Big picture, Detroit remains a bit too immature and combustible to be viewed as a legit SB threat, but they are talented. Ford Field will be rockin’, and the best QB/WR duo in the NFL will send everyone home very, very happy.

6. Seattle Seahawks (-3) over ARIZONA CARDINALS: Definitely a bit risky riding a rookie (not named Luck) on the road in a divisional matchup, but if Seattle develops at the rate I expect them to this season, these are games you simply have to win. The Cards QB situation created a very strange vibe this summer, which in reality, was the exact opposite of the spirited and focused foundation Pete Carroll created entering ’12.

Just for bragging rights, of course.

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1 Comment

  1. Alright put my reverse in for the weekend, but I slid Detroit down to -6 1/2 for a little extra action, I don’t think I’ll need it, but I rather be safe than sorry with that terrible secondary giving up a late score.

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